VALE: Sergeant Ben Moide CBE . . .

Ben Moide 7We were saddened to learn today (30 December 2013) of Sergeant Ben Moide’s passing in Port Moresby.

However we will be eternally grateful that Ben’s heroic story has been captured by Mr Lahui Ako in his book ‘Nameless Warriors’ published by the University of Papua New Guinea Press and Bookshop in 2012. Lahui Ako wrote of his race against time to complete the book. He was aware ‘that God could call the old man to rest at any time while I laboured on. So in between writing, prayers went up to the Almighty to allow the old man to live longer in order to personally witness the completion of this project.’

We can only thank God his prayers were answered because Ben Moide’s story is a vital contribution to our understanding of the complexities of the war from a Papuan viewpoint. This aspect has been neglected by recent authors and publishers on the Kokoda campaign because of their own lack of empathy with PNG. Lahui Ako discovered this when he was advised by a potential Australian publisher that Ben Moide’s version of the Kokoda campaign ‘was not recognised in Australia’. [Read more…]

Fuzzy-Wuzzy Angel statue unveiled on Kokoda Day in Sydney

UNVEILING OF THE BRONZE STATUE HONOURING THE NEW GUINEA WARTIME CARRIERS by THE HON VICTOR DOMINELLO MP

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is no doubt that Kokoda is a pinnacle on that Anzac line of courage and fortitude that runs through our nation’s history from Gallipoli to Kapyong, from Long Tan to Tarin Kot.

Now almost seventy years has passed, but the name Kokoda continues to echo in the annals of Australia’s military narrative.

Early in 1942, Australians had mobilised in the face of a unique threat on its doorstep… [Read more…]

The Kokoda Trail Villager

First impressions of Koiari and Orokaiva villages along the Kokoda Trail give little hint of the complex relationships that exist within. The simple life of building, gardening, cooking, nurturing, teaching and healing is underpinned by the complexities of clan relationships and the influence of missionary pastors, traditional lululais’ and  sorcerers.

Elders maintain their distance and examine trekkers with furrowed brows and quiet curiosity as they arrive, collapse, rest, hand out a few balloons, ask a few shallow questions, shake hands, and wave goodbye.  Most elders speak Motu, some speak Tok Pisin, but their English is often poor or non-existent.  This limits their communication to friendly smiles and a wave of the hand.  But mostly they just look. [Read more…]

All Kokoda People Must Benefit – by Maclaren Jude Hiari MBE:

Papua New Guinea war historian, Maclaren Jude Hiari MBE, is currently researching and documenting the recollections of war experiences of native carriers, medical orderlies, policemen and soldiers during World War Two in Papua New Guinea, particularly the Kokoda Trial and the ‘Bloody’ Buna Campaigns. Using this research, he has also been making representations to both the Australian and the Papua New Guinea Governments to recognise and honour the sacrifices made by some of these “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels”.

In this article, he talks about the sufferings and sacrifices made by these ‘forgotten’ “Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels” during the Kokoda Trail Battle which have been unheard of, and which are not recognized and recorded by Australians, and about the background history on the establishment of the Kokoda Living Memorial by the Australian Government in 1995. He also talks about the need for any overseas aid planned for 18,000 Kokoda people to be channelled to all of them, not just those Biage, and Koiari along the Kokoda Trail, and the few around Kokoda Town. [Read more…]

Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels deserve a medal

One of the most shameful omissions of successive Australian vernments since the end of the Pacific War has been their neglect to issue a civilian service medal to the New Guinea Carriers who were indentured to support Australian troops during our darkest hour in 1942. It is a fact that our troops would have been defeated in the Kokoda campaign without the support of these Carriers. [Read more…]